Okay, I’ll be glad that it’ll be spring, but I’m most excited about attending my first Diabetic Conference to hang out with others and learn more. I’m going to drive down to Raleigh to attend the “Weekend for Women” conference. I think I will stay a day or two longer to explore the area. I am really excited about this – the agenda looks great and it’s a little trip for myself too!
Frustrations January 25, 2010
I had my quarterly visit with my diabetes doctor this morning. My A1C was 7.2. This is the lowest it’s ever been for me. It took two years to bring it down this much from the 13.6 I was at when diagnosed. Too bad the rest of my blood work was not as clean/good. I go back for more testing in 6 weeks, but today I’m feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Everything I was working on improving, improved…and yet new things appeared from nowhere.
I’m normally not a negative person, but today I want to give the finger to the world and go back to bed and start over again…with a different body.
I was also frustrated that my doc wanted me to first meet with a student doctor. I did this last time I saw her too. It means my time with my doctor was cut short and she misses half of what I say. I go to the same doctor over and over to avoid this. It’s frustrating. Should I call before the next visit and say I’m not willing to do that or find a new doctor?
I did get to cover the main topic I had – exercise. So, now begins the testing of what I need to adjust and how much to be able to work out and not go low. I’m sure I’m not the only person who has burned a couple hundred calories just to have to swig 100 calories of juice to come back up.
Is that lady crazy or is she just a diabetic? January 22, 2010
One of the pet peeves of most diabetics I’ve talked with is when others, specifically non-diabetics or experts, say things like “You can’t eat that.” I can. I have a pump that provides insulin to me, much in the same way your pancreas produces it for you. Having said that, there are some things, unique to each person, that seem to cause more issues than a normal carbohydrate should. I had a run-in with this yesterday after deciding to have a *small* piece of cake at a group birthday party. I knew I should probably stop when the icing tasted like fudge, but I still ate several bites. I took what I believe was a proper dosage and went about my business.
A couple of hours later I felt BAD! I pulled out my tester and got a reading of 289. WTF?! First time over 200 this year, I believe. I’ve been doing great lately, partly due to exercise and some other changes I’ve made. So, I gave myself some more insulin and tested a few minutes later. 301! THREE HUNDRED! I checked my tubes and didn’t see any obvious kinks. In the past, in this situation, I’ve changed the pump site. This time, however, I didn’t have any supplies with me and really didn’t want to have to go home due to some important meetings during my afternoon.
After brainstorming for a minute, I got up and went into an empty conference room and started running in place. I did this for about five minutes. Note that since I was staying at work I didn’t want to get too sweaty! So I went back to my desk, waited a few minutes and tested again. I repeated this cycle three more times. A few times I did laps around the table and added in some jumps and crazy arm swinging. It worked. Within an hour I was getting readings near my goal.
I was glad that I was able to find a healthier way to combat the situation, but I was frustrated with myself for getting in the situation. Guilt is a common emotion with diabetics. But I live and I learn and I’ll know better next time.
Having said that, please don’t try to tell me what I should or shouldn’t eat. I’m an adult. If you decide to not listen, please don’t be surprised if I tell you where you can or can’t go. 😉 Oh, and, if you see a coworker running around a conference room, just note that maybe they are diabetic and not completely off their rocker.
Mama said there’d be days like this… January 14, 2010
One Monday night I met up with friends for dinner and decided to hang out at the bar on my own for a bit to write on my laptop. At the time I was participating in National Novel Writing month and wanted to get another 1000 or so words out before going home and being distracted by my dog, TV, computer…life. The writing went pretty well, however, I was in for a terrible surprise when I went to grab my laptop bag and get up.
I looked down and the belly of my pants was COVERED in blood. I’m talking a good six inches across and 3 inches tall. I was shocked. At the time I had used a pump for about three months and had only seen blood one time and it was just a few drops. I stuffed my laptop in my bag and headed out to my car.
With the door shut, I checked the insertion site and could see the blood. I removed it and the bleeding stopped pretty quickly. What didn’t stop were my emotions. A dam inside me broke and I bawled. I was feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, ashamed, embarrassed, annoyed, sad and probably a few other things in there. I believe these were emotions I had suppressed since my diagnosis and had been extra accumulated once I got the pump. See the pump is great, but it’s a machine connected to your body all the time. People can see it. When I was doing shots I could do a shot in the bathroom and no one would know. Now it’s more visible. And so the emotions were released and I cried.
After a while I calmed down and was able to stop and drive home. I got home and showered and cleaned up and inserted a new site. I could see a huge, purple bruise had already formed where the previous site was. I was still a bit confused about what had happened so I got online and went to tudiabetes.org and posted what had happened to me. Within a few minutes I got responses from fellow diabetics. Someone named Heather explained that I had probably hit a blood vessel when I put in my set and bumped it and dislodged it. She also warned that one day I might take out a site and have a “gusher” where blood goes crazy. Now if it happens I’ll know.
The positive from the experience, in addition to realizing that I do have diabetic resources to turn to, was realizing how out of touch with the emotions surrounding my disease I had been. Now I try to deal with them when they come up. They have, they do and they will continue to appear. I just need to be ready to handle them so I’m not bawling in my car over some blood on my pants.
I should’ve been more ready to begin with. After all, mama said there’d be days like this…
Inquiring minds want to know January 11, 2010
Yesterday I talked about all the things I’m learning. Today I am thinking more about the things I just don’t know yet.
1. I’m diving back into the dating pool at least partially using online sites and this leads to the first question. When do I mention that I’m a diabetic? Part of me feels like it shouldn’t matter to someone who might potentially date me, but another part says if it becomes serious, my disease will affect the person too. Right now I’m thinking maybe during a first date if it’s going well. But, is that too soon? That bullet point was a two-fer!
2. This time of year I get cold a lot. However, my blood sugar dropping also causes me to feel cold. I find myself testing a lot to make sure I’m really just cold because of the temperature and not because my levels are low. Is there another way?
3. Is there a way to make the pump not buzz or beep when it’s on Suspend because I’ve taken it off? It’s disruptive and I know if it’s not connected to my body!
4. Is it rude that I’ll check my levels wherever I am (ex – dinner table with friends at a restaurant)? To me it’s just a drop of blood and it’s required, but I suppose I could go to the restroom or something instead. Reading reactions other people have had is part of what makes me question this.
That’s all for now. 🙂
My name is Becca and I was diagnosed with diabetes January 18, 2008. In many ways, two years doesn’t sound like a long time, but it’s been enough time to change my life quite a bit. I’ve enjoyed reading other blogs in the Diabetes Community and thought I’d enjoy sharing my challenges and adventures too. So, here I am!
The year before I was diagnosed was quite exciting in one respect – I was losing weight like crazy. I actually got down to the lowest weight I had seen since elementary school. That I loved. I chalked it up to becoming a vegetarian and working out regularly. However, despite those things I didn’t *feel* good. I got shaky a lot before lunch and every afternoon I was completely exhausted. I had some other related signs and actually did a free screening at work for diabetes but the results came back negative. Given that I wasn’t feeling great, I decided to go in for a checkup. At the time I didn’t even have a doctor. I had been to the doctor only a handful of times ever. I looked through Baltimore magazine and found a “best of” that was in my insurance plan and made an appointment. The Friday I went in for my appointment, the doc did a full exam and then sent me off for x-rays and blood work and set-up a follow-up appointment.
Later that evening I was heading to a party and got a call from the doctor. He told me that I was diabetic, my blood sugar was over 600 and I needed to get to the hospital immediately. I didn’t really understand anything about diabetes and ended up stopping at Taco Bell to grab a bite before going to the hospital. Really. When I got there my blood sugar was over 700. I spent the next 8 hours with an IV hooked up with insulin in it where they proceeded to bring my blood sugar down. Around 2 AM, I was down to ~100. They told me to go home and see my doctor the next week. No education or anything. The next afternoon a friend purchased a meter for me and brought it to my house. I was already over 400, so went back to the ER. This time I was admitted and kept overnight and given some education. Other than the day I was born, it was the first night I had ever been admitted in a hospital.
It actually took a couple of weeks before a diabetes specialist was able to see me. It really wasn’t until then that I got real treatment. During that next year I had more medical appointments than I had in my entire life prior. I was originally diagnosed Type 2 and was then changed to Type 1. Now I go to the doc every 3 months at a minimum. While my weight has gone back up, the doctors wanted to deal with getting the levels right before addressing. I’ve finally stabilized and am starting to lose weight again…this time healthily.
In the 2 years since then I have learned a lot. A lot about my own body. A lot about food. A lot about diabetes and what I have control over and what I don’t. I’ve learned what I feel like when my levels are going up or when they are going down. I’ve learned things like stress and sickness can throw my numbers out of whack. I’ve learned this is a disease I have to accept and deal with and am the only one that can do so.
This past summer I got a “pump” and that has meant additional adjustments, but also really helped with getting my numbers where they should be. Still, it’s a new thing to always have something attached to my body. I have to incorporate it into my wardrobe (still haven’t perfected wearing it with dresses easily). The disease is visible beyond the pump attached. If you look at my fingertips, you see tons of black dots from the testing I do several times a day (minimum of 4). If you look at my belly, there are often bruises from the pump-site that I have to change about every three days. When it’s time to eat I have to test, estimate the amount of carbs I am going to eat and enter this into my pump. When I’m going to work out I have to stop the pump a couple of hours ahead of time and test after. And such and such and such.
There are days I hate diabetes and that I get mad that I have to deal with it non-stop. To have one day without it seems like a dream. Hopefully with continued research and advancement, there’ll be a cure one day. Until then it’s mine and I own it. This blog will be my outlet to talk about it. Decorations to come.